I made the transition to a vegan lifestyle while living in Montreal, and it has been so much fun to watch the vegan world grow in the past 11 years! In 2007 the only vegan place I knew about in the city was Aux Vivres, of which I became a frequent visitor. But now Montreal is bustling with vegan and veg-friendly cafes, restaurants and grocery stores. I moved yesterday and I am sad to be leaving this great city filled with vegan treasures so I thought I would do a post for anyone interested in some great vegan eateries in Montreal! Let’s start where it all vegan, Aux Vivres!
This is Montreal’s first vegan restaurant and it has been open since 1997. They now have 2 locations with a 3rd offering a partial menu. My favourite thing at Aux Vivres has always been their veggie butter. You can drip it onto steamed vegetables, warm chapatti bread or as a salad dressing. I always have a jar of it in my fridge. Come to think of it, I need to look into how I can get this shipped to Oakville …. They also make great bowls, sandwiches and weekend brunch plates. My favourite is their Le Complet, a dish of tasty tofu scramble, tempeh bacon and cornbread. There is also a small take-out market next door to their main restaurant on St Laurent where you can get any item on the menu for take out, as well as frozen pizzas, lasagnas and more!
Vegan Sushi. Probably the best restaurant idea I have ever heard of. Every time I go into this place I am in heaven and I am left thinking that the World needs more Sushi Momo’s. I have heard from MANY non-vegans that this is the best sushi they have ever ate. Their menu is creative beyond belief with flavours combinations that taste magical. They have moved locations a few times over the years and I always feel like they need a bigger space. It is very difficult to get a table without a reservation but their new take-out restaurant next door, Komono, has definitely helped that situation since you can order online and just go pick up your food for take-out. I made sure I got some sushi this week before leaving 🙂
Another place that is bustling with locals and tourists on a regular basis. LOV stands for Local, Organic, Vegetarian. They have 2 locations in Montreal, a 3rd in Laval and they are opening a 4th in Brossard! And this is all within a few short years. LOV is a slightly upscale restaurant when compared to the other casual vegan places in the city. The décor is beautiful and welcoming and the food delicious. LOV has been listed in Forbes magazine as one of the top places to eat in Montreal (And this list was not a vegan list!) They make a great weekend brunch but to my broken heart, my favourite item was removed from their menu. They used to make homemade Nutella with dates that was so good, but sadly that has been removed. But don’t fear, every single item on their menu is worth getting, with my personal favourite being the sweet potato buckwheat gnocchi.
The Green Panther, or La Panthere Verte as it is known in Montreal, has many locations throughout Montreal, including a food truck. But the best part of this restaurant, it is entirely organic. That’s right. The food hasn’t been sprayed with toxic chemicals, allowing the food to have higher nutritional value. Green Panther specializes in falafels but they also offer veggie burgers, tempeh wraps and bowls, various salads, soups, desserts, smoothies and in some locations, a full bar. I love a side of their falafels with the hippie sauce.
This little vegan café has a lot to offer, from great lattes, to muffins, scones and sandwiches and even Oreo Frappuccino’s in the summer, but where they grabbed my heart was with their pop-tarts. Homemade. Vegan. Pop-tarts. You have to get there early if you want one because they do run out quickly. If I am lucky and get there soon enough, I buy a few of them and eat them for days. They switch up the flavours but I have never tasted one that I didn’t love.
Vegano is Montreal’s first Vegan-Italian restaurant. They have a large menu that changes slightly every 2 weeks. One of the great things about Vegano is that they serve breakfast/brunch every single day, not just on weekends. Their servings of all their dishes are very big, so you will not leave hungry! Sadly, last week, I wanted to go for one last meal there before leaving town, but after driving there, I saw a sign on their door saying they were closed for 2 days. I guess it wasn’t meant to be!
This vegetarian gem is unique in the fact that it is owned by 2 carnivores!! They understood the importance of lowing their carbon footprint by reducing their meat consumption, and voila, we have Lola Rosa! Not entirely vegan, but 100% vegetarian with many vegan options on the menu. With a unique and classy décor, I love the tradition that was started by restaurant goers of leaving notes and messages inside the drawers on the table. You can always find personal letters, words of inspiration and drawings as you wait for your food! I love their Nachos with their unique vegan cheese sauce!
A small restaurant in Griffintown, as well as having a location in the Atwater market, I couldn’t complete my list of Vegan Hot Spots in Montreal without mentioning Le Kitchen and their black bean burger. They make a big mac sauce for their double patty black bean burger, and it puts McDonald’s burgers to shame. I usually need to order 2 of theses burgers for myself because once I finish one, all I want to do is start eating another one!
Montreal has so much more than these restaurants and cafes to offer in the vegan food scene but these are a few of my favourites that I will miss the most. I can’t wait to see where the Montreal vegan food scene will grow to in another 10 years!